Mika Salo: I really hope that we can all give the Americans a good show at Indianapolis. They are used to cars racing five abreast, and even two abreast can be rare in Formula One, but I am sure that we will be able to bring them a spectacle in...
I really hope that we can all give the Americans a good show at Indianapolis. They are used to cars racing five abreast, and even two abreast can be rare in Formula One, but I am sure that we will be able to bring them a spectacle in the first Grand Prix to be held for many years in the States. On a personal level, I´m really looking forward to racing in America for the first time in my career.
It is very good for Formula One that we are going back to the United States, and I´m really looking forward to racing at such an historic place as the Indianapolis Motor Speedway.
Up until now the Indianapolis Formula One track has been known to the teams only on lap time simulation programmes. So a lot of the basic set-up work, especially things such as gear ratios, will be a matter of educated guesswork initially. What none of us will know until the first day of running there is precisely what level of grip the surface will offer.
The track will require medium to low downforce; you need low drag for the long straight from the oval circuit´s Turn Two all the way through the banked corner and along the pit straight, but obviously you also need downforce for the narrow corners in the infield. So that will be an interesting compromise. I can see most people opting for medium downforce for qualifying, and low downforce for the race, where overtaking at the end of the straight will be critical. The banked corner is unlikely to present any particular problems, as it falls within the lateral -G- loading levels that we already experience elsewhere, but we are looking forward to the special requirements it will impose in setting up the cars. It comes in the middle of the longest full-throttle run anywhere on the calendar - even longer than Monza – once again placing a premium not only on engine performance but also braking efficiency. For all of the teams, this exciting new track presents a great challenge.